Is it an inherently masculine quality to consider consuming food beyond its Best Before prime? And besides that, is this quality going to get me killed tonight? I wondered this as I sautéed some mushrooms that were destined for the tosser two days earlier, my mind drifting as it does while I attempt to cook food at home, you know, saving money.

I hate wasting food, and it isn’t entirely because of some generous, them-kids-in-Africa sentiment either. Its because I never had enough of it growing up and so I hate seeing it go unused now. Food poisoning be damned, even if I do decide it be best to not eat them, they’re getting a decent frying first so I can at least say I tried.

I tapped out the phrase “can old mushrooms make you sick” on the keyboard of my Blackberry, while the pan in front of my sizzled away with an unappetizing wetness. I didn’t find any conclusive answers.

Like most Google inquiries, the insight I ended up earning had nothing to do with what I actually needed to know. Instead, I began to think about the incredible measures of disdain I receive when it becomes public knowledge that, gasp, I still use a Blackberry in 2016. It’s like a lynch mob wants to string me up from the nearest Apple tree or burn me alive on the pyre of a detonating Galaxy S7. Which seems like a great comeback as to why I do still use my BB, only it wouldn’t be true. The true rationale: cheapness (big surprise), and real buttons, because, you know, I write. I’m supposedly a writer.

Which is kind of a joke in of itself. I’ve written probably close to 150,000 words over a decade, enough for a tome approaching maybe one of Tolkien’s dimensions, but none of those said words will ever see the light of day. Or if they do, it’ll be in a moment of cringing self-reflection as I critically assess what I was trying to convey in years past. More likely, I’ll be glossing over the content entirely and remembering, fondly or otherwise, the landscape I was occupying while writing these things.

That’s the trouble with inheriting good memory from the genetic lottery. You can never truly escape your past if you want to. It’ll always be there, the tastes, the smells, or the temperature of the breeze on ‘that’ day, all waiting to come flooding back with the slightest trigger, maybe while opening up the garage storing all the totems items of your youth. It’s particularly vivid when you have to decide what ones to keep as souvenirs of your trip through life, and which ones to amputate like old anchors, as they can be in the worst sense of the word.

More recently, I discovered the joy of compromise, and that is by writing short stories. These are exercises in (semi) instant-gratification, an idea or an aesthetic indulgence done in a couple pages from start to finish, an experiment. So I now have a bunch of those too, most of them probably literary trainwrecks in all honesty, but I think I have a couple decent examples too, which you may or may not see on here later.

I did get one of these published once, which I blandly titled Death is an Airport. This is one thing I’m very proud of, the accomplishment of getting something published for realz, even if I’m kind of unsatisfied with the actual work. There is but one phrase I’m totally happy with: “Like stars drawn towards the cosmic drain of a black hole.” That line was okay.

So, banter and tangents aside, I find myself starting a blog. I think I did this because the winter here is boring, and because I’m at the point in my life where I actually think I may have a few interesting things to say, and have traveled enough to say them. Up until now I regarded blogs as being a little passe, usually soap-boxes for some orator desperate for an audience, but then I realized I didn’t know enough and should give it a shot myself.

Let me disclaim by saying that this blog isn’t intended to change anyone’s world, least of all yours. I do, however, hope it’s at least a little entertaining and raises the occasional eyebrow with how incredibly random the content will be. Because: you’re going to find music reviews, movie opinions, original photography, and rambling op-ed pieces like this, with no aim or intention, other than linguistic exercise (or exorcise, depending on how you look at it). Hence: Compound Exorcises.

So, as I throw out my fried mushrooms the day after I started writing this blog post, after ultimately concluding I probably shouldn’t risk food poisoning over a couple bucks after all, at least I can say they were good for something: a segue.

In the words of Humphrey Bogart, “We’ll always have WordPress”*†

* (not really Humphrey Bogart.)

(we won’t always have WordPress. I’m sure in a couple years, it’ll be just another dead link, like everything else on the web.)